Compressed-air energy proposal in east Kern comes up for state review
State review is officially underway on a major energy-storage project near Rosamond that would use compressed air, thermal engineering and hydrostatic force to even out delivery of renewable power and make the state’s electrical grid more resilient. At a cost estimated at $975 million, the 500-megawatt, 4,000-megawatt-hour proposal would take electrons from renewable energy sources nearby to power air compression and underwater injection. When energy is needed later, air would be released upward to run a turbine generator. Heat would be removed early then returned later in the process.
Gem is slated to open in early 2026 after a four-year construction period, and thereafter generate property tax revenues and $500 million in regional economic benefits over its 50-year lifespan. The project has a little longer discharge capacity than a similar energy-storage proposal in San Luis Obispo that Hydrostor recently brought before the energy commission.